Starting job for pre-nursing experience

  1. I am just beginning my journey to become a nurse, I have one more semester and I will be applying for nursing school. I switched to nursing from a business major and was hoping that someone could give me some advice on what jobs I would look for to get in the medical field to have experience.
    I also would like to get a job in a hospital so that when I have my clinicals I can work at night and on weekends, as clinicals are always during the weekdays. I unfortunately my husband's current income is not enough to survive on solely.

    Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

    Jennifer
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   mvanz9999
    I'd love some advice on this too. In my view, it seems like you have to have some certification or other qualification to work in a hospital. Outside of housekeeping and food services anyway.
  4. by   glb1960
    go get your cna (certified nursing assistant) certificate and start talking to the hospitals. most rn programs have the cna cert as a requirement anyway. this is a good way to begin to speak " healthcare". although we speak english, picking up on the lingo, acronyms and abbreviations while interacting with other team members will prove invaluable during school. also, learning to function on a floor, finding supplies, helping patients, changing bedding , taking vital signs and learning if you can handle blood and vomit are base to functioning as a nurse. many times, when you prove yourself to be a good employee, cna jobs can lead to nursing jobs, if you like the facility. and working there as a cna can tell you if you are intrested in working there as a nurse.
    in larger hospitale, there are jobs such as er tech, tele tech, huc, [color=#0079ad]instrument tech , drug unit assistant, laboratory care technician, and others that get your foot in the door with training provided.
  5. by   puresass
    i worked as a receptionist at an x-ray office for two years while i did my pre-reqs. it gave me a lot of experience working with patients & medical terminology & it didn't require any extra classes or certification like being a CNA would.
  6. by   jjg003
    At hospitals where I have had my clinicals after your first semster of clinicals you can go thru a few days of training and become a patient aid and they will usually work around your schedule. Also see about a unit secretary postion, you will learn about the paperwork and so on. Look online and search for your local hospitals and look at the jobs posted on there. A friend of mine worked in the ER as a admitting person. Also check with the temporary staffing places there are certain ones that just handle medical professional. Good luck in your search and on school, it is tough but very rewarding!

    JJ
  7. by   ladyinred667
    My local hospitals have nurse externships that you can get after your first semester of clinicals. I'm assuming it's basically like a nurses' assistant, although you don't have to be certified like a CNA. I plan on doing that after this semester.

    Right now I am temping in Information Services, and my job is to help them move to a "paperless" system. This means that I have to input all 400+ forms the hospital uses. I read them and pay attention. It is helping me become comfortable with terminology and procedure.
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    I'd advise a CNA, unit secretary, or even activities in an nursing home. It's a good way to be around the lingo, see paperwork, and learn how to interact with clients properly...I was an Activity Director in a 200 bed MI facility while I got my pre-reqs done(including CNA). Worked on careplanning, charts, documentation, planning social events, picked up a lot of med/nursing lingo, and just really solidified this is what I want to do. However, I'm not sure what I'm going to specialize in...Maybe I'll know by 3/4 semester.
  9. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from ladyinred667
    My local hospitals have nurse externships that you can get after your first semester of clinicals. I'm assuming it's basically like a nurses' assistant, although you don't have to be certified like a CNA. I plan on doing that after this semester.

    Right now I am temping in Information Services, and my job is to help them move to a "paperless" system. This means that I have to input all 400+ forms the hospital uses. I read them and pay attention. It is helping me become comfortable with terminology and procedure.
    I'm in IT now. I've tried getting into hospitals, with no luck. How did you get this position? Seems to me you have to know someone to get in (which is true most places).

    Over all, some good ideas I'll look into.
  10. by   MegNeoNurse
    I worked in a hospital almost 2 years prior to entering the nursing program I'm currently in. I did not have an prior experience or special certification. I do not provide patient care though. I am a unit secretary in a NICU (where you must be an RN to work there, LPNs cannot work NICU). It's nice to get "used to" some of the things that go on in a hospital, equipment, labs, terminology etc. Those things have made alot of things easier in nursing school.

    You could go get your CNA and be a nurses assistant, but as far as workload and pay go..... I guess it depends on state/facility/department but my US job pays more than my friends who are CNAs. Another thing about going to CNA cert then into nursing school, all of my friends are somewhat frustrated because what you learn in CNA school, what you practice as a CNA and what is taught in learning school are not the same and is confusing.

    But with all of that aside, YES! Working in a clinical setting before or while you are in nursing school is an excellent idea! Let me give you one pointer, do NOT work a night before an exam or a clinical day (this is dangerous and puts your patient(s) at risk!!)

    Good luck!
  11. by   jov
    one area people never think of is as a medical assistant in a doctor's office. There are some docs that will train you for the position. I was a medical assistant for probably 5 years. I did 12 lead EKG's, pulmonary function tests, gave allergy shots, penicillin injections, strep throat swabs, urine cultures and sensitivities (yup, we had an incubator), countless BP's and temps, and blood draws. Got so good my doc told me if I couldn't get the blood draw, he knew he couldn't either. As an MA, you work under the doctor's license, so on the job training is up to him. I had really great training and am so far ahead of the game on those every day technical skills, not to mention primary care medicine, which condition gets what med, etc. Great way to pick up experience AND you get to work during the day.
  12. by   ysara
    Quote from CSM08MMS
    I worked in a hospital almost 2 years prior to entering the nursing program I'm currently in. I did not have an prior experience or special certification. I do not provide patient care though. I am a unit secretary in a NICU (where you must be an RN to work there, LPNs cannot work NICU). It's nice to get "used to" some of the things that go on in a hospital, equipment, labs, terminology etc. Those things have made alot of things easier in nursing school.

    You could go get your CNA and be a nurses assistant, but as far as workload and pay go..... I guess it depends on state/facility/department but my US job pays more than my friends who are CNAs. Another thing about going to CNA cert then into nursing school, all of my friends are somewhat frustrated because what you learn in CNA school, what you practice as a CNA and what is taught in learning school are not the same and is confusing.

    But with all of that aside, YES! Working in a clinical setting before or while you are in nursing school is an excellent idea! Let me give you one pointer, do NOT work a night before an exam or a clinical day (this is dangerous and puts your patient(s) at risk!!)

    Good luck!
    Hi CSMO8MMS,

    H E L P!!
    My question is what's it like working as a unit secretary: pros and cons??
    What's the daily routine? What should I look out for? Do's and Don'ts.
    Im so nervous, don't really know what to expect because skills for this type of position seem to vary. Lastly, whats the avg salary in MA area?

    I am a first year struggling nursing student, 23, and starting my first relevant medical field job as a unit secretary in SICU. I have worked as medical assistant in PC for about year and gotten a valuble learning experience and exposure then went back to FT/PT school. I worked clinicals more rather than administrative as we are supposed to be multi-tasked. But the doctor prefered me helping her with clinicals. But I do have and understanding of referrals and data entry.

    I appreciate for any advice you might have. Thanks a million!!

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